New ships on tap for South Florida
New cruise ships, new ports and new ways to have fun onboard were the talk of Cruise Shipping Miami, the year’s biggest cruise industry convention this week in Miami Beach. The conference wrapped up Thursday at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Next year, it will anchor in Fort Lauderdale for at least three years because of renovations at its former home. Here are highlights of this week’s conference: New ships Port Everglades will welcome Holland America Line’s new 2,650passenger ms Koningsdam cruise ship in late 2016. The cruise ship will sail to the Caribbean on itineraries ranging from four to 11 days from Fort Lauderdale starting in November 2016 and running through March 2017, the Seattle, Wash.based cruise operator said. Koningsdam — the first in Holland America’s new Pinnacleclass of cruise ships — will debut in Europe in April 2016. It will kick of its Caribbean season with a fourday cruise from Fort Lauderdale to the Bahamas departing Nov. 9, 2016. “We are excited to sail Holland America Line’s newest ship from Port Everglades on the most varied and robust Caribbean itineraries of any of our ships,” said Orlando Ashford, company president. “The Caribbean remains among the most popular cruise destinations in the world.” In late 2017, MSC Seaside — the first vessel in the nextgeneration Seaside class of cruise ships for MSC Cruises — will sail into Port Miami. The new ship will sail yearround itineraries to the Caribbean. MSC Seaside’s official naming ceremony also will happen in Miami, marking the Italian cruise operator’s first U.S. shipchristening. The new cruise ship can accommodate up to 4,140 guests double occupancy and will feature the most interactive aqua park at sea with five water slides and attractions for all ages, MSC said. Adjacent to the aqua park will be the Adventure Trail, a ropes course. Other onboard amenities will be announced in coming months.